WT receives NEH grant for Mexican American-centered initiative

Local News

Courtesy West Texas A&M University

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with West Texas A&M University announced Tuesday that the university’s Center for the Study of the American West won a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, funding a continued initiative for the center.

According to a news release from the university, the National Endowment for the Humanities recently granted the center $148,728 to fund its “Forgotten Frontera: The Mexican American Southern Plains” initiative, highlighting the contributions of Mexican Americans in the High Plains.

This project began in 2018 as a series of community conversations, first funded by a Humanities Texas grant. This new program is broader, the release said, aiming at addressing a decline in interest in the humanities and Spanish language studies, including among Mexican American students.

“This initiative responds to the lack of recognition of the unique Mexican American presence in our region,” Alex Hunt, the director of the center, a Regents Professor of History and Vincent-Haley Professor of Western Studies, said in the release. “Through Forgotten Frontera, we will make these histories visible and accessible to our students, faculty and communities. That’s especially important at WT, which has been a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, now boasting a population of about 30 percent Hispanic students.”

Hunt said in the release that the goal is for the Forgotten Frontera program to be a “permanent fixture” at West Texas A&M, emphasizing the contributions of the Mexican American population and making them more relevant for students and the community.

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